GOP House Candidate Insists George Floyd Killing Was Staged
A Missouri Republican House candidate has released her own half-hearted report, claiming that the video of George Floyd's death - which sparked nationwide protests to end racial inequalities in criminal justice - actually staged a "false flag" is. ”
Winnie Heartstrong, a congressional candidate for St. Louis, currently held by Lacy Clay (D-MO), has been spreading conspiracy theories about Floyd's death on Twitter for almost a month. At the end of May, a video with Heartstrong claiming "George Floyd lives" spread to far-right Twitter accounts and received more than 100,000 views.
Heartstrong went ahead with a 23-page document last week that outlined a number of inconsistent conspiracy theories about Floyd's death by a Minneapolis police officer. Heartstrong insists that Floyd actually died years earlier and that the video showing his death is actually a false "deep fake" that is said to create racist tensions.
"We conclude that no one in the video is really a person, but rather all digital composites of two or more real people to use deepfake technology to create completely new digital people," Heartstrong writes in the document that they are using Help created by "Citizen Investigators".
Perhaps the strangest part of Heartstrong's report is the claim that Ben Bailey, a comedian who surprises taxi drivers with the chance of making money on the Cash Cab game show, was somehow involved in the role of Derek Chauvin, the police officer in Minneapolis killing Floyd . Heartstrong's report contains numerous graphs comparing Chauvin's face to that of Bailey, including one that reads "Boom! Here's the" Killer Cop "."
"Citizens' investigators have suggested that" Officer Chauvin "seen in the arrest video bears a remarkable resemblance to actor and comedian Benjamin Ray Bailey seen in Cash Cab," Heartstrong writes.
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The Cash Cab conspiracy theory has prevailed with some elements of the Pro Trump QAnon movement that are based solely on the idea that Chauvin Bailey looks similar. But it stays on the edge of the internet of conspiracy theory and it's unusual for it to be advertised so openly - especially by someone running for a federal office.
Heartstrong declined to comment on her Floyd conspiracy theories, and referred The Daily Beast to her document and May video on the subject. In the video, Heartstrong presented a cruel plan, claiming that the murder could be staged.
"You lure a homeless person, you give him some poisonous drugs and you kill him," Heartstrong, who is black, said in the video. "Black America, you all have to wake up and stop being so emotional."
Despite its bizarre claims, Heartstrong has a good chance of winning the Republican primary on August 4, though it would almost certainly lose the general election. Heartstrong's claims about Floyd have prevailed among right-wing conspiracy theorists and earned their appearances on internet radio shows, including a YouTube show by conspiracy theorist David Zublick, who has more than 175,000 subscribers to the website.
More importantly, Heartstrong's only main opponent is Anthony Rogers, a podcaster and comedian whose social media pages include video notes from personalities like Joshua Dial, Joe Exotic's campaign manager, and Shwe director Uwe Boll. Former Trump advisor Roger Stone, who is currently awaiting a 40-month sentence, has also approved Rogers, calling him "just the kind of hellraiser" we need to send to Congress.
Rogers’s campaign website is currently returning a connection error, making it difficult to connect to most browsers. But his primary chances could be more hampered by his reputation for what the St. Louis Riverfront Times called "offensive posts," including a 2014 thought catalog post about the shooting of Ferguson, Missouri, the teenager Michael Brown, who said Brown is doing "Hood Rat" shit. "
Rogers did not respond to a request for comment. While Heartstrong didn't comment on her claims about Floyd's death, she was happy to comment on her main enemy in an email to The Daily Beast, claiming that Rogers "is not actively campaigning".
If it doesn't promote conspiracy theories, Heartstrong has positioned itself as a staunch candidate against abortion. Before moving to Missouri, she ran as a Republican for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates. She made this offer for 2018 under the name Winnie Obike and received only 5 percent of the vote.
Even if she prevails in the area code, Heartstrong will almost certainly lose in the general election against Clay, who has been in the House of Representatives since 2001. Election analysts in the Cook Political Report rate the district as "D + 29", meaning Democrats are highly preferred.
"They're going to take ass fucking, so it makes no difference," said Mike Jones, a St. Louis political analyst and race and politics columnist at The St. Louis American. "And the lucky one could be the one who lost [the primary]."
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However, the prospect of Heartstrong, a pronounced Floyd truther winning the primary, could give the GOP a new headache as other conspiracy theorists win nominations elsewhere in the country. A QAnon believer won the party's nomination for a seat in the Oregon Senate, while another QAnon supporter is ready to win a nomination in a highly republican district in Georgia.
And for its part, Heartstrong doesn't seem to be ready to race calmly. She claims to represent a group of Floyd investigators who want the President to investigate whether the Floyd video was falsified.
"We urge President Trump to investigate these allegations to solve the deepfake technology problem once and for all," Heartstrong writes.
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